Farmers Forum staff
OTTAWA — Aside from trying to hire local farm workers on Kijiji or Indeed.com or hiring Mexican and Caribbean labourers through the seasonal workers program, more than 100 Canadian farms are signed up for a program that hires mostly young adults from Europe.
The federal government program, called International Rural Exchange Canada offers candidates, aged 18 to 35, with a minimum two-years experience, an opportunity to work on a Canadian farm for up to one year. The program at www.awaytowork.ca also offers young Canadians an opportunity to experience farming one of 13 countries, including Japan.
While an informal survey found that 90 per cent of the candidates work out well. A small number lie about their experience, have language difficulty or just don’t like it once they’re here. Many are hired by the farmer following an online face-to-face interview. Young people with a farming interest want to come to Canada, said Anita Warriner, executive director of IRE Canada. “People want to come here. Big fields and big equipment are a draw.”